Thursday, February 26, 2009

click here for a printer friendly version of the 3/1/09 outline

Lifegroup map 3/1/09  “When God loves”  John 3:16-21


Please choose any One of the following Ice breakers:

(Everyone doesn’t have to answer the same one… pick the one you like!)

·        If you went to Winterfest last week, what was your favorite part?

·        What do you want to be remembered for, after you die?

·        How do you personally deal with doubt?



Life exploration time:  Read out-loud John 3:16-21


~ Why do you suppose Jn 3:16 is so popular?


~ Describe how Jn 3:16 summarizes the Gospel…


~ Why might someone have a struggle with the idea of God loving everyone in the world?


~ According to Jn 3:17, God didn’t send Jesus to condemn/judge the world, but to save the world.  How do we reconcile this, with the fact that God still keeps us accountable for our choices?


~ 3:18 touches on what type of faith or belief?


~ In Jn 3:19-20, subversive, secretive, behind-the-scenes behaviors are chastised.  Whose job is it to expose these “dark” behaviors for what they are?


~ Read Jn 3:21.  Why is it so liberating when we are vulnerable and “come clean”?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Click here for a printable outline for 2/22/09

Lifegroup map 2/22/09 “Night-vision” John 3:1-15

Please choose any One of the following Ice breakers:

(Everyone doesn’t have to answer the same one… pick the one you like!)

  • What is your favorite season of the year?

  • When was the last time you were in your hometown?

  • What’s the 1st thing you do when you get home from a long trip?

Life exploration time: Read out-loud John 3:1-15

~ (Assuming Nicodemus is actually sincere in 3:2 and he’s not being sarcastic with his “we know” statement) Why is Nicodemus convinced that Jesus is an authentic teacher?

~ What do you make of Nicodemus coming to see Jesus at night?

~ Where else in John’s Gospel (other than here in 3:3 & 3:5) does Jesus use the term “Kingdom”?

[Hint, there’s only one other time John records Jesus as saying “Kingdom”]

When would Nicodemus have had an opportunity to hear Jesus teach, AND,

How much could Nicodemus have been expected to know about Baptism at this point in time?

~ As a Pharisee (and probably a member of the Sanhedrin) Nicodemus would’ve had to have been an expert in the Bible and a decent & morally upright man.

Assuming he did know his Scriptures and he was a moral teacher and leader:

Why isn’t that level of morality & depth of Scriptural understanding enough to make Nicodemus righteous in Jesus’ eyes; since he is told that he would still need to experience a “rebirth” in 3:7?

(BTW: This also goes for whoever else is with him; since the pronoun “you” is in a plural form here, it means Jesus is talking to more than just Nicodemus…)

~ In JN 3:5-8, what role does the Spirit play in our rebirth?

~ Looking at Jn 3:13-15, shed light on how these two truths both function together in our salvation experience:

(1.) What God does, along with,

(2.) Our personal faith.

Personal reflection

Who should I invite to Lifegroups this week?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Click here for a printable outline for 2/15/09

Lifegroup map 2/15/09 “When push comes to shove” John 2:18-25

Please choose any of the following Ice breakers:

(Everyone doesn’t have to answer the same one… pick the one you like!)

  • If you have ever helped save a life before, what was it like?

  • What was your most terrifying experience ever?

  • Fill in the blank, “I’m most looking forward to ___________________....”

Life exploration time: Read out-loud John 2:18-25

What is the core/foundational/primary challenge they are blasting Jesus with in Jn 2:18?

~ (Recognizing that their questioning of Jesus in Jn 2:18 is right on the tail-end of Jesus driving out the multitudes of “man & beast” in Jn 2:15)…

What are a few of the emotional and/or adrenaline-fueled challenges Jesus might’ve had to personally bring under control, before He was ready to respond to the Jews?

~ How do you personally calm anxiety-type feelings during a confrontation?

~ What is your greatest struggle/fear while facing a probable confrontation?

~ Often times, when faced with a potential confrontation we revert to the “Fight or Flight” style of reaction. Now being armed with Jesus’ example of facing confrontation from tonight’s passage: What are some better habits we could/should adapt than fight/fight in our dealings with people?

~ Read out-loud Jn 2:23-25. There’s a neat wordplay here; it’s on the Greek word for “Faith” that gets translated here, once as “believed in” (from the people who’d observed His signs) and then it’s translated as “entrust” (on Jesus’ part toward them). In other words, the people believed in/trusted Jesus — He didn’t believe in/trust in them.

BTW: The people that Jesus didn’t entrust Himself to, were new believers in Him… (So, these aren’t His antagonists He’s withholding trust from...)

Personal reflection time:

What level of trust is Jesus able to place in me?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Click here for printable outline for 2/8/09

Lifegroup map 2/8/09 “Get out of God’s way” John 2:13-17

Please choose any of the following Ice breakers:

(Everyone doesn’t have to answer the same one… pick one you like!)

  • What was the highlight of your week?

  • How have MP3 players and Ipods changed your household?

  • What’s your reaction when you step in used-gum in a parking lot?

Life exploration time: Read out-loud John 2:13-17

Brief background:

Folks traveling into Jerusalem to observe the Passover feast (Jn 2:13) were required to exchange their “common” money for “temple” currency to be allowed to make any vows or contributions to Temple treasury. Also, to offer an animal sacrifice they could only offer animals the priests considered 100% perfect; without spot or blemish. Since it could be difficult for a weary traveler to produce an acceptable animal, “pure” animals could purchased at the Temple grounds.

History reveals the currency exchange and animal sales were both offered at over inflated prices Both the attitudes and the corrupt practices of the Temple officials, who tended these affairs, presented sizable hurdles for people who genuinely wanted to Worship God… Our passage seems to indicate Jesus was confronting these “excepted” attitudes of insensitivity and corruption.

~ How were the people in JN 2:14 guilty of dishonoring God and making it more difficult for people to simply worship God?

~ Keeping in mind that the practices described in JN 2:14 were fully acceptable by the standards of their day… What would your personal reaction to Jesus have been if you were with Him (Either as His disciple or simply an onlooker) while He was weaving a whip and then using it??

~ How could Jesus’ response (Jn 2:15-18) be an example for Christians to emulate today?

~ In what ways is it possible that Christians today could be unintentionally making it more difficult for “outsiders” to connect with God?

Personal reflection:

How will I remove barriers and help other people see God more clearly this week?